In modern America, it is a given that “First comes love, then comes marriage”, but this was not always the case. The idea that marriage is based entirely on love is actually a fairly new concept. Historically, arranged marriages were common, and even today are a fairly common practice in certain parts of the world. I recently read there is a trend back to this practice even in the United States.

An arranged marriage is not the same as a forced marriage, nor is it necessarily an involuntary union imposed upon unwilling participants by their families. The traditional purposes of these marriages were political, military, and social.

Arranged marriages were common as far back as Biblical times. And were commonplace among royalty and nobility. For many cultures intergenerational relationships of the family were much more valued than the marital relationship. Prearranged marriages were common in Italy, but today the tradition is rare other than in some areas of Southern Italy.

Angelo Colosi and Minnie Bongiovanni had an arranged marriage. The story was passed down that grandpa Angelo needed settling down and the family saw this marriage as being good for him. I don’t know if the marriage had been arranged for years or if it was a sudden decision. I only know that on Minnie’s 19th birthday, she and Angelo were joined in holy matrimony.